Morocco to ban plastic bag manufacturing
The Government Council drafted a bill that bans the production, import, sale and distribution of plastic bags in the country, although the bill would not apply to plastic bags for agricultural and industrial use or for waste collection. The bill needs to be approved by parliament in order to become law.
In September 2009, the country had banned the production and use of black plastic bags by ministerial decree as they had been littering the country’s streets, beaches and countryside.
In 2010, Morocco issued the Law on the Use of Degradable or Biodegradable Plastic Bags and Sacks, which specified standards for plastic bags that are locally produced, imported, sold or distributed. However, when this bill came into effect in 2011, it met with resistance from local plastics manufacturers as they argued the transition would require significant investment. As a result of the resistance coming from manufacturers, the Moroccan government turned to other solutions to address the increasing number of plastic bags.
Between the years 2011 and 2012, The Department of Environment collaborated with the Ministry of Interior on the National Program for the Collection and Disposal of Plastic Bags, which resulted in the collection and disposal of 1,000 tons of discarded plastic bags across the country. In 2013, Fouad Douiri, former Minister of Energy, Mines, Water and Environment, launched an initiative to replace plastic bags with canvas bags. More than 20 towns across the country participated in the program.
However, these attempts only created temporary solutions. The newly proposed bill, on the other hand, aims to ban production, import, sale and distribution in Morocco altogether. However, it is currently unclear whether the government will offer any alternative to plastic bags if the law is adopted.
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